By Siena Pacheco
Soprano Charlotte Stevens took to the stage in Krinovitz Recital Hall in Hawkins Hall in front of Plattsburgh community members, SUNY students of all degrees and majors, and faculty and staff April 23 at 2 p.m.
Stevens put together the program herself with guidance from her voice professor, Pamela Lavin. She prepared a set of music consisting of eight pieces of three different types of music: Italian songs, German songs and Broadway tunes. By doing so, Stevens was able to show off her vocal versatility.
The lights dimmed in the house, and Stevens took center stage followed by SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus, pianist Ryan Mahony.
Stevens began her first set with the performance of the Italian song “Batti Batti,” featured in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”
Stevens sang this upbeat aria as her high notes bloomed throughout the venue.
Despite the stage lights shutting off midway through the song, Stevens did not miss a beat and performed with immense composure. Stevens sang from memory, while Mahony had sheet music in front of him and continued to play despite being in the dark. A few seconds longer, and they might have had to pause the performance until the technical glitch was resolved.
No performer ever expects a technical glitch from their crew, but both Stevens and Mahony continued. To end the first set of Italian songs, Stevens chose to sing “Lasciatemi morire,” another Italian song featured in Claudio Monteverdi’s opera “Ariane.” This short piece was a great contrast from the first song, and Stevens sang through the quick melodic runs gracefully.
Stevens then began her second set of pieces, consisting of only German songs. She began by singing “Standchen,” meaning “serenade,” by Franz Schubert. Her pronunciation was perfect, and the audience could follow along with the translation provided in the program. This made it clear that Stevens forgot a few words in the piece. However, she covered it with a gentle smile for the audience and was able to find her spot back in the music quickly. Next, she sang “Zueignung,” meaning “dedication,” by Richard Strauss.
It was during this song that Stevens looked most comfortable on stage, and this clearly reflected in her voice. The song featured her dramatic range of both high and low notes as her voice rang, causing a dramatic applause upon its end. This set of music was finished with “Vie Melodie,” meaning “like melody,” by Johannes Brahms.
Stevens concluded her performance with her final set of music, Broadway tunes, to be sung in English. “Pulled” from “The Addams Family” began the section. Stevens’ acting ability came to light and had the audience laughing at her dramatic version of this song. She started off the song with a stern face, portraying the character of Wednesday Addams. She looked as though she was enjoying herself on stage throughout this piece.
The next song, “The Anonymous Ones” from “Dear Evan Hansen,” showed Stevens’ ability to connect with the audience. Her performance left some of the audience members in tears. She finished the concert with “I’m Not Afraid of Anything” from “Songs for a New World.” She sang this song in her powerful chest voice, with elegant flips to her higher range when needed. Upon Mahony’s striking of the last chord, the audience rose to their feet quickly, giving Stevens a standing ovation.
The concert lasted just over 30 minutes. Audience members were excited to see Stevens as she exited the stage door shortly after her bow. Camryn Lincoln, a community member and friend of Stevens, said that her performance “was an amazing display of musicality and discipline — proof that hard work pays off.”
Stevens has been at SUNY Plattsburgh for the past two years. Adjunct Lecturer and Choral Director Timothy Morningstar said, “It was wonderful to see the enormous growth that Charlotte has made over the past two years here. She sang beautifully with emotion, which clearly moved the audience.”